What Parents Need to Know About Athletic Injuries

As parents, we often spend a lot of time worrying over the safety of our children. This is especially true for parents with kids that are involved in sports. But, what can you know about sports injuries and concussions that may help ease your mind just a bit?

Fall is one of the biggest sporting seasons of the entire year. It is a time when all the kiddos head back to school and begin picking up where they left off with their football or volleyball team. Naturally, it is also a time when many children fall victim to a sports injury.

Most Common Fall Sports Injuries

While anything is possible, there are a few particular injuries you should be familiar with since they are the most likely to occur. These types of sports injuries include:

  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Fractures
  • Shin Splints
  • Concussions

Strains and sprains are fairly similar, as they each pertain either to an overstretched muscle or an overstretched ligament. These are typically very mild injuries that only require a bit of rest, icing, and elevation. However, some sprains and strains can also be severe enough to result in a full tear of the muscle or ligament.

Whenever a bone breaks, it is referred to as a type of fracture. Once again, some cases are fairly minor, though they will often cause a significant amount of pain. Fractures will also usually require more recovery time than a strain or sprain. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect a fracture, as the bone will need to be properly set so that the healing process can begin.

Shin splints tend to feel like a fracture, but should be treated more similarly to a strain. This type of injury is most often seen in runners, as they are caused by an overexertion of force on the shin bone.

Injuries to the head can be especially scary. Even a seemingly insignificant bump can result in a concussion, which needs to be treated with care. If your child experiences any of the following symptoms after a head injury, be sure to see a DOCTOR immediately:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Appearing dazed or confused when asked to recall recent events
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain within the head or eyes when exposed to bright light

Be Proactive When it Comes to Injuries

Sometimes, there is simply nothing you can do to protect your child from an accident on the field. However, there are a few ways that you can lessen their potential risk for developing an injury, such as:

  • Make sure they warm up properly before any strenuous activity, even if they try to insist that they don’t need to.
  • Do your research on the program and the priorities of the coach. Is winning the only thing that matters? Or are they also teaching the kids skills about teamwork and lifelong healthy habits?
  • Avoid limiting your child to a single sport at a premature age. A lot of great athletes started honing their craft when they were incredibly young, but as a result, many stunted their growth and suffered from recurrent injuries after years of overuse.
  • Give them time to recuperate every day. Between school, sports, and quality family time, little humans can become burdened with big schedules. Be sure to allow for some downtime here and there so that your kids can be at their very best for the next game.
  • Ask them what they want. It can be all too easy to get wrapped up in the fast pace of the fall season’s schedule, but if your child is starting to dread going to practice then you need to address their unhappiness by openly communicating with them about it.

If you have further questions about sports injuries, or if your child is experiencing pain from a sports injury, contact PediatriCare of Northern Virginia today,